Pa. ruling that threw out gas drilling regulations leaves future of nascent industry uncertain

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Pennsylvania policy makers and the energy industry are thinking about their next moves after the state Supreme Court threw out significant portions of a law that limited the power of local governments to regulate the natural gas industry.

The high court on a 4-2 vote Thursday struck down portions of a 2012 law that had been crafted by Gov. Tom Corbett and his industry-friendly allies in the Legislature.

Republican leaders in the General Assembly say the decision raises more questions than it answers and could damage the growing industry. They say they’re unsure what the ruling means for the millions in impact fees being collected under the law.

Pennsylvania has seen a boom in drilling and related industries rushing to exploit the Marcellus Shale underground deposits.